Monday, March 26, 2012

Guest Post: Deborah Coates

Curling Up by The Fire is pleased to welcome Deborah Coates, author of the newly released Wide Open (March 13th, 2012), a novel about a young woman who returns home searching for clues to her sister's death and embroils herself in a far-bigger mystery than she would have imagined.  She is here today to discuss why she likes to write and why it is so important to her. 

Why I Write
by Deborah Coates

Let's Do This Again Sometime

This is the last guest post of my first blog tour. Thank you so much for having me here, for participating in some part of this tour and sharing the first few days of Wide Open as a published novel.

When I thought about what I wanted to write for this particular post, I asked myself if there was anything I really wanted to say that I hadn't said in any other guest posts or interviews. It turns out there was.

Here's what I'd like to talk about today--why I write. And specifically why I write for publication. Lots of people say that they write because they can't not write, which is a good reason--for them. But it's not my reason. I could fill my time with work, dogs, books, and wasting time on the internet. I'd bake more, exercise more, spend more time doing yard work (What? I would!).

I don't have to write, but I do.

I write because I like creating something, not just the initial idea when it seems like it's the most amazing, perfect story ever written by anyone ever. I like when it becomes a problem to be solved, when it seems as though it can't ever be solved, at least by me. I like when it comes down to the end, when I'm fitting the last pieces of the puzzle together so it's a story with consistent characters and a coherent plot. And I love playing with words.

That's one reason. My other reason is both simpler and more complicated.

I write to be read.

It's true that I write to understand things, to 'see' things that are important to me. I'm not a detail person and one of the things I enjoy about writing is recapturing telling details, figuring out what made a particular experience or place memorable and unique. Sometimes I succeed. I think.

And then, I want to share it. I want everyone to read it. I'd love for everyone to love it too or at least to see what I saw when I wrote it. Some will. Some won't. Some of the most popular books out there are as much hated as loved. Everyone brings different things to the book and that makes it a different book for everyone. But they're reading it. That's the thing. They're reading it.


This is not the perfect post. I wish it was. But it's not. What I want to say is that I hope you'll read Wide Open. Buy it. Get it from the library. Borrow it from a friend. I hope it works for you. I wrote it to be read.

In an interview I did just before the book came out, I was asked to name a favorite line from Wide Open. That line--several lines actually--is from about halfway through the book, but not, at least this part of it, very spoilery:

Boyd’s shoulders rose and fell in a silent half laugh. “Yeah,” he said. He was quiet for another minute, looking into the depths of his coffee mug. Hallie’s finger twitched at the loose edge of the paper label on her beer bottle.

“It’s complicated,” Boyd finally said.

“Everything’s complicated,” Hallie said. “Just spit it out.”

“Okay.” Boyd nodded. “All right.” But then he didn’t say anything else.

“Uhm . . . Boyd?”

“Do you think I’m a Boy Scout?”


“Honest, loyal, helpful, friendly.”

“Hmmm . . .” Hallie frowned. This was not the direction she’d imagined this conversation taking.

“Yeah, I kind of am. And I’m . . . good with that. I mean, I’m okay being a Boy Scout or whatever you want to call it. But you’d think the payoff to that would be that people—people who know me, would believe what I tell them.”

“Okay?” Hallie said, because she didn’t know him and if he thought she did, then he had a weird idea of what knowing meant.

He leaned forward, intensity coming off him in waves, in the direct stare and the tight muscles underneath his jaw. Hallie wondered if this was what he bottled up in precision haircuts and polished boots and tightly creased khakis. “Because you have to know this before anything else makes sense. Before I can explain earlier today. Which I can. Explain. But this first. Yeah. I think . . .”

“Just spit it out,” Hallie said, almost laughing because—wow— the Boy Deputy stumbling over his words was . . . kind of cute, actually—made her willing to listen, at any rate.